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Drivers and Conservation implications of the global pet trade


   School of Biological Sciences

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  Dr I Capellini  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The trade of exotic animals has been a central component of human culture for over 10,000 years. However, the volume and diversity of species traded has increased dramatically over the last few decades. This project will identify the drivers and conservation implications of pet trade traded species across the globe. 

The trade of wildlife as pets has been part of human culture for over ten millennia. However, the diversity of species in the pet trade and the volume of individuals traded has increased dramatically in recent decades as a result of an ever more connected international market. The extent to which the intensification of this industry has contributed to the ongoing decline of biodiversity worldwide remains contested. In this project, you will investigate the drivers and conservation implications of pet trade and address the following questions in vertebrates: 

  1. Does the pet trade lead to population declines and higher extinction risk? 
  2. Does the international pet trade increase the risk of release of alien species in novel regions and the risk of biological invasions? 
  3. Why do we trade some species but not others?  
  4. Are species in the legal pet trade different from those traded illegally? 

You will compile a global scale database of pet trade for vertebrates using information in the literature and online. You will join Dr Capellini and Dr Pincheira-Donoso’s group that has extensive experience in using cutting edge phylogenetic comparative methods for global scale analyses of fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology and conservation.  

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